Feedback control for fluid mixing via advection

Weiwei Hu, Carlos N. Rautenberg, Xiaoming Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work is concerned with nonlinear feedback control design for the problem of fluid mixing via advection. The overall dynamics is governed by the transport and Stokes equations in an open bounded and connected domain Ω⊂Rd, with d=2 or d=3. The feedback laws are constructed based on the ideas of instantaneous control as well as a direct approximation of the optimality system derived from an optimal open-loop control problem. It can be shown that under appropriate numerical discretization schemes, two approaches generate the same sub-optimal feedback law. On the other hand, different discretization schemes may result in feedback laws of different regularity, which determine different mixing results. The Sobolev norm of the dual space (H1(Ω)) of H1(Ω) is used as the mix-norm to quantify mixing based on the known property of weak convergence. The major challenge is encountered in the analysis of the asymptotic behavior of the closed-loop systems due to the absence of diffusion in the transport equation together with its nonlinear coupling with the flow equations. To address these issues, we first establish the decay properties of the velocity, which in turn help obtain the estimates on scalar mixing and its long-time behavior. Finally, mixed continuous Galerkin (CG) and discontinuous Galerkin (DG) methods are employed to discretize the closed-loop system. Numerical experiments are conducted to demonstrate our ideas and compare the effectiveness of different feedback laws.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-153
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Differential Equations
StatePublished - Nov 25 2023


  • Asymptotic behavior
  • Fluid mixing
  • Instantaneous control
  • Nonlinear feedback control
  • Stokes equations
  • Transport equation


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